Office has long offered a range of applications to boost productivity. Office 365 is like Office, but it expands its domain from the personal computer to the cloud.
Office 365 is a software as a service (SaaS) suite that includes not only the personal computer versions of Office, but also mobile versions and the server services needed to connect them.
With Office 365, you can use the familiar applications you’ve probably run on your PC for years—Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, and in some cases, depending on which subscription option you choose, Outlook, OneNote, Access, and Publisher—to save, edit, and modify documents in the cloud. Some subscription models also offer Yammer and Office 365 Video.
Exchange facilitates email management and administration and can be used to synchronize mail, calendars, and contacts across all your devices.
Every business has a repository of files used to conduct day-to-day business. SharePoint provides a place to store and manage all those files, and to manage access to them. SharePoint also helps with keeping track of multiple versions of a file and setting up notifications when a new version is ready. SharePoint can even help with building workflows for business processes.
Skype for Business integrates with Exchange and SharePoint to facilitate real-time communications like international calling options, instant messages, video and audio meetings, and screen sharing, across all devices. This makes collaboration a breeze. With Skype for Business, you can also view each user’s status—for example, “Available” or “In a Meeting,” with color coding to help convey information at a glance—thanks to a feature called presence. For example, if you have a meeting scheduled on your calendar, Your presence is automatically set to “In a Meeting” and your color is set to red to indicate that you are busy.
Some Office 365 subscription offerings include the full Office desktop software version in addition to hosted versions of Exchange, SharePoint, Skype for Business, and OneDrive for Business, all of which can be accessed via Microsoft public cloud services. Office web apps offer more limited features but are free.
The first time you access Office 365, you will create a user account.
The Office 365 Admin Center lists links for your services and includes an Admin drop-down menu along the top of the page. This menu gives you access to Office 365 settings, in addition to settings for Exchange, Skype for Business, and SharePoint. On the left is a navigation pane, which you use to access different areas of the Admin Center.
If your organization has a custom domain, such as trawbridge.com, you can configure Office 365 to use it.
Unless you run a one-person operation, you’ll likely need to add other users to your Office 365 subscription. When you do, they can use all the programs and features that Office 365 provides. Doing so is easy.
Your Office 365 subscription includes SharePoint. SharePoint offers several built-in tools, including team sites, document libraries, custom lists, task lists, and a site mailbox. In addition to these built-in apps, there are several other apps that you can add to your SharePoint team sites.
Your business can benefit by having Office available on all your mobile devices—including your Windows Phone, Android, or iOS (Apple) smartphone or tablet. Many subscription options allow for as many as five devices per user, including mobile devices. Although not all Office 365 applications are available for Office Mobile, you can use Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, and Yammer while on the go. In addition, you can set up your mobile device to use OneDrive for Business and Skype for Business.